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Designation: D923 07

Standard Practices for

Sampling Electrical Insulating Liquids1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation D923; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon () indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.
This standard has been approved for use by agencies of the Department of Defense.

1. Scope Section/
Section Title
1.1 These practices cover sampling of new electrical insu-
lating liquids including oils, askarels, silicones, synthetic Collecting Samples from Electrical Equipment Using Section 9
liquids, and natural ester insulating liquids as well as those Stainless Steel Cylinders (DGA and Water Analysis)

insulating liquids in service or subsequent to service in cables, Sampling of Cans, Drums, Tank Cars, Tank Trucks and
transformers, circuit breakers, and other electrical apparatus. Small Electrical Equipment
Sampling Using the Dip-Type Device (drum thief) Section 10
These practices apply to liquids having a viscosity of less than Sampling Using the Pressure-Type Device Section 11,
6.476 10-4 m2/s (540 cSt) at 40C (104F). Annex A1.1
Sampling Using the Tank Car-Type Device Section 12,
1.2 Representative samples of electrical insulating liquids Annex A1.2
are taken for test specimens so that the quality pertinent to their Sampling Cable Feeders
use may be determined. The quality in different portions of a Mandatory Conditions Section 13
General Considerations Section 14
given container, or the average quality of the whole bulk may Sampling Using the Manifold-Type Device Section 15,
be ascertained if desired. Annex A1.3
Cleaning, Preparation, Storage, and Handling of Section 16
1.3 The values stated in SI units are regarded as the standard Sampling Containers
where applicable. Inch pound units are used where there is no Storage, Packaging and Shipping of Samples Section 17
Cleaning and Storage of Sampling Devices Section 18
SI equivalent. Sample Information Section 19
1.4 These practices also include special techniques and
Mandatory InformationConstruction of Sampling Devices Annex A1
devices for sampling for dissolved gases-in-oil (DGA) Determination of Electrical Apparatus Temperature Appendix X1
(D3612), water (D1533) and particles (D6786). Sample Container Types Appendix X2

1.5 For ease of use, this document has been indexed as 1.6 Handle askarels containing polychlorinated biphenyls
follows: (PCBs) according to federal and local regulations existing for
Section/ that country. For example, the federal regulations concerning
Section Title
Paragraph PCBs in the United States can be found in 40 CFR Part 761.
Mandatory Conditions and General Information Section 5 1.7 Properly contain, package and dispose of any liquid or
Description of Sampling Devices and Containers Section 6, material resulting from the use of these practices in a manner
Annex A1,
Appendix X2
that is in accordance with local and state regulations specific to
Most Frequently Used Sampling Techniques for the country in which the samples are taken.
Electrical Apparatus
Collecting Samples from Electrical Equipment Using Bottles Section 7,
1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the
and Cans Appendix X1, safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the
Appendix X2 responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appro-
Collecting Samples from Electrical Equipment Using Glass Section 8
Syringes (DGA and Water Analysis)
priate safety and health practices and determine the applica-
bility of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific warning
statements are given in 1.6, 1.7, Section 5, 10.1, 13.2, 15.2.3,
These practices are under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D27 on Section 16, and 18.2. These practices involve close contact
Electrical Insulating Liquids and Gases and are the direct responsibility of with the electrical insulating liquids being sampled as well as
Subcommittee D27.07 on Physical Test.
Current edition approved July 15, 2007. Published September 2007. Originally
liquids and other materials used to clean the sampling tools and
approved in 1947. Last previous edition approved in 1997 as D923 07. DOI: devices. When required, or as a matter of diligence to personal
10.1520/D0923-07. safety, use personal protective equipment (PPE).

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2. Referenced Documents 5.1.1 Energized electrical apparatus being sampled must
2.1 ASTM Standards: 2 have a positive pressure at the sampling outlet, so as not to
D1533 Test Method for Water in Insulating Liquids by introduce an air bubble into the apparatus during the sampling
Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration process. Refer to 7.2.
D1933 Specification for Nitrogen Gas as an Electrical Insu- 5.1.2 Do not draw samples from any energized electrical
lating Material equipment with a small volume of oil, especially those that
D3612 Test Method for Analysis of Gases Dissolved in require the addition of oil to maintain the electric strength of
Electrical Insulating Oil by Gas Chromatography the insulation system. If the proper level or existing level can
D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and not be accurately determined do not proceed.
Petroleum Products 5.1.3 Maintain the insulating fluid within the electrical
D6786 Test Method for Particle Count in Mineral Insulating apparatus being sampled at a level that will not reduce the
Oil Using Automatic Optical Particle Counters electric strength of the insulation system.
5.1.4 Do not sample electrical apparatus if only a drain plug
3. Terminology is provided, as it would be difficult to control the flow.
3.1 Definitions: 5.1.5 Do not draw samples from energized instrument
transformers such as CTs and PTs.
3.1.1 samplingthe obtaining of that amount of a material
which is adequate for making the required tests and which is 5.2 General Information:
representative of that portion of the material from which it is 5.2.1 Take and handle samples or test specimens in such a
taken. manner as to avoid the loss or gain of properties for which they DiscussionIn most cases the detection of contami- are being tested. Some tests are greatly affected by minute
nants that are not ordinarily dispersed uniformly through the traces of impurities, and it is imperative that utmost precau-
liquid being sampled, such as water or solid particles, neces- tions be taken to prevent contamination when obtaining
sitates taking samples at specific locations where the contami- samples. Due to the hygroscopic tendency of insulating liquids,
nants are likely to be found. For a liquid having a relative it is important to minimize exposure to the atmosphere of the
density (specific gravity) less than one, water and some other sample being taken.
impurities are most likely to be found on or near the bottom. In 5.2.2 Take a sufficient quantity of liquid as a sample to
the case of a liquid having a specific gravity greater than one, cover the requirements of the respective tests to be made. Make
some of these impurities are most likely to be found on or near reference to the procedures governing these tests to ascertain
the surface. the quantity of liquid for each test specimen and the number of
test specimens required.
4. Significance and Use 5.2.3 When samples are to be taken the temperature of the
4.1 Accurate sampling, whether of the complete contents or liquid should be equal to or greater than the temperature of the
only parts thereof, is extremely important from the standpoint surrounding air in order to minimize the possibility of con-
of evaluating the quality of the liquid insulant sampled. densed moisture from the air being absorbed by the liquid
Obviously, examination of a test specimen that, because of during the sampling process, particularly in a humid atmo-
careless sampling procedure or contamination in sampling sphere.
equipment, is not directly representative, leads to erroneous 5.2.4 When taking samples of liquid from large storage
conclusions concerning quality and in addition results in a loss tanks, transformers, oil-circuit breakers, gravity-fed reservoirs
of time, effort, and expense in securing, transporting, and on oil-filled cable feeders, and other electrical equipment, the
testing the sample. electrical equipment drain valve is usually adequate. However,
when high relative humidity conditions exist and it is desired to
4.2 A study of gases and moisture contained in insulating
obtain samples through a closed system, the manifold in Fig.
oils from transformers and other electrical power apparatus can
10 is recommended.
frequently give an early indication of abnormal behavior of the
apparatus, and may indicate appropriate action be taken on the 5.3 General Information when Sampling Electrical Appara-
equipment before it suffers greater damage. Specific gas and tus:
moisture content can be determined from oil sampled for this 5.3.1 All non-hermetically sealed equipment, filled with
purpose. insulating liquid having a relative density (specific gravity) less
than 1, should be provided with the sampling outlet located at
5. Mandatory Conditions and General Information the bottom of the tank so that bottom samples of the oil may be
5.1 Mandatory Conditions when Sampling Electrical Appa-
ratus: 5.3.2 All non-hermetically sealed equipment, filled with
insulating liquid having a relative density (specific gravity)
greater than 1, should be provided with the sampling outlet
located at the top of the tank at the 25C (77F) liquid level so
For referenced ASTM standards, visit the ASTM website,, or that a top sample of the liquid may be obtained.
contact ASTM Customer Service at For Annual Book of ASTM
Standards volume information, refer to the standards Document Summary page on 5.3.3 When make-up liquid is added to any piece of
the ASTM website. electrical equipment or the liquid is filtered, allow sufficient

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time to lapse to allow for complete mixing before sampling in glass-stoppered or fitted with screw caps having a pulp-board
order that a representative sample is obtained. liner faced with tin or aluminum foil, or with a suitable
5.3.4 If samples or test specimens must be taken when the oil-resistant plastic such as polyethylene, polytetrafluoroethyl-
liquid temperature is below 0C (32F), high water content ene (PTFE) or fluoro-elastomers. Do not use any incompatible
may not be detected because of the formation of ice. Ice is a natural or synthetic rubber materials. Must meet the require-
concern in both energized and de-energized electrical appara- ments of Section 16. (See Appendix X2.)
tus where insulating oil-filled compartments operate at tem- NOTE 1While amber-colored glass bottles are used for storing
peratures below freezing, such as some tap changer compart- samples as protection against light, clear glass bottles afford better visual
inspection of the samples or test specimens for impurities such as water
ments and circuit breaker tanks.
and foreign particles. Take samples that are to be subjected to referee tests
5.3.5 When retrieving samples from electrical apparatus, in new amber-colored containers that have been cleaned as described in
record the apparatus temperature (C) along with the identifi- Section 16.
cation information as required by Section 19. Knowledge of 6.4 Other Bottle or Can Containers (Note 2)Used for
the apparatus temperature (C) at the time of sampling aids in securing and storing the sample. May be constructed from a
the interpretation of results from certain tests (Refer to Appen- suitable oil-resistant plastic such as high-density polyethylene
dix X1). (HDPE) (do not use for long term storage when water content
5.4 General Information when Sampling Liquid-Filled is to be determined), or metal cans such as those made from
Tanks, Drums, Tank Trucks, Tank Cars and other Similar aluminum, stainless steel, other appropriate metal, or PTFE
Containers : lined. Metals cans are to be constructed as fully extruded,
5.4.1 When sampling large outdoor tanks, tank trucks, tank pressed seams or welded seams. Solder seams may leave a
cars, and de-energized electrical equipment the temperature of residue that will contaminate the sample. Screw caps and
the liquid to be sampled may be colder than the surrounding closures must meet the requirements of 6.3. (See Appendix
air. On such an occasion, determine and report the temperature X2.)
of the liquid and air as well as the relative humidity with the NOTE 2It is recommended to retrieve samples for DGA and water
results of tests. It is undesirable to collect samples that are analysis using only syringes or stainless steel cylinders. If bottles and cans
exposed to the atmosphere when the relative humidity exceeds are used, gases that are to be measured in the DGA analysis can easily
escape from these types of containers. Alternatively, environmental gases
50 % or under conditions of rain or snow. can become entrained into the sample. Both situations can alter the results
5.4.2 Allow containers of new liquid to remain undisturbed significantly.
for at least 8 h before samples or test specimens are taken. In
6.5 Glass SyringeThe device shown in Fig. 1 must be of
some instances, such as in the case of tank cars, it is not
a suitable size terminated with a Luer lock fitting to which is
practical to wait this prescribed length of time, and samples for
attached a three-way stopcock. It is used for taking samples
routine tests may be taken after the liquid has remained
usually from a valve located on an insulating liquid-filled
undisturbed for as long a period as practicable. For referee
electrical apparatus. Syringes having precision ground barrels
tests, allow the full 8-h waiting period to elapse before taking
and pistons are preferred. This sampling device is the preferred
samples or test specimens. Repeat samples or test specimens
mechanism for taking samples for dissolved gases-in-oil and
from tank cars may be taken without waiting an additional 8 h.
water content. Refer to Figs. 14 for step by step instruction on
5.4.3 Unless otherwise specified, take samples of insulating
how the device is to be used. (See Appendix X2.)
liquids having a relative density (specific gravity) of less than
6.5.1 Stopcocks used on syringes must be compatible with
1 from the bottom of the liquid container. For drums, cans,
the insulating liquid being sampled. Polycarbonate and poly-
small tanks, etc., design the sampling device so that the sample
styrene for example stopcocks are not appropriate.
is obtained a distance of 3 mm from the bottom of the
container, while for large tanks, tank trucks and tank cars, the 6.6 Stainless Steel Sampling Cylinders The device shown
distance is within 13 mm of the bottom. in Fig. 5 is equipped with valves on each end may be used for
5.4.4 Unless otherwise specified, take samples of insulating sampling from a valve located on an insulating liquid-filled
liquids having a relative density (specific gravity) of greater electrical apparatus. This is an alternative sampling device for
than 1 from the surface layer of the liquid. taking samples for dissolved gases-in-oil, water content, and
areas of excessive environmental contamination.
6. Description of Sampling Devices and Containers
6.6.1 The materials of construction of the valves used on
6.1 Devices suitable for withdrawing samples of liquid from stainless steel cylinders must be compatible with the liquid
containers, electrical equipment, cable feeders, and cable joints being sampled. Valve packing materials such as Nitrile rubber,
are described below, shown in Figs. 110 and the Annex, and fluoro-elastomers and PTFE have been found suitable.
discussed in Appendix X1.
6.7 Dip Type or Drum ThiefThe device shown in Fig. 6 is
6.2 Electrical Equipment Sampling Drain Valve or Port used for taking bottom samples from drums, storage tanks, and
Used for taking top or bottom samples from energized or small de-energized electrical equipment, that are to be sub-
de-energized electrical apparatus. This device is especially jected to routine tests. It is fabricated of metal, glass or a
suitable when collecting samples in a glass jar, metal can, or compatible plastic and available from most laboratory supply
other suitable containers as described in this section. houses. It is not recommended for use under the following
6.3 Glass BottleUsed for securing and storing the sample. conditions:
Amber or clear (see Notes 1 and 2) and may be either 6.7.1 When the samples are to be subjected to referee tests,

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6.7.2 When the relative humidity of the atmosphere exceeds valve and threads with a clean lint-free cloth making sure to
50 %, remove all debris, water and plug sealing materials. Drain at
6.7.3 When the samples are to be tested for dissipation least 2 L and preferably 4 L of liquid into the flush-oil container
factor, resistivity, or moisture content, and to flush the drain valve and drain valve extension. One of two
6.7.4 When the viscosity of the liquid to be sampled exceeds procedures may then be used to prepare the drain valve for
2.28 10-5 m2/5 (21 cSt) at 40C. sampling.
6.8 Pressure TypeThe device shown in Figs. 7 and 8 is 7.3.1 Procedure AInstall a sample adapter on the drain
intended primarily for sampling drums of high-viscosity liq- valve (suitable thread size bushing adapter NPT to 38 or 14 in.
uids. However, it is particularly suitable for obtaining samples bayonet) with a piece of oil-resistant tubing attached (see Note
of all electrical insulating liquids in drums where it is desired 3). Stainless steel adapters and tubing have also been found to
that all contact of the sample with the atmosphere is elimi- be practical for this purpose. Flush the valve and installed
nated. When possible, this device should be used for obtaining sample adapter by flushing at least 1 L of liquid into the
samples from drums when these samples are to be subjected to
flush-oil container before collecting sample.
referee tests.
7.3.2 Procedure BThis is an alternate procedure for purg-
6.9 Tank Car TypeThe device shown in Fig. 9 is used for ing the valve when it is not practical to flush oil through the
taking either top, middle, or bottom samples from containers of drain valve or a flush container or catch pan cannot be placed
large capacity such as tank cars, tank trucks, and large storage
below the valve. Install the drain valve pipe plug. Attach oil
tanks not provided with a sampling-test nipple. This device is
resistant tubing (see Note 3) to the sample port on the side of
not recommended for use under the conditions described in
the drain valve and flush at least 2 L of liquid into the flush oil
6.7.1 through 6.7.4.
container before collecting the liquid in the sample container.
6.10 ManifoldThe device shown in Fig. 10 is used for
taking samples from low-pressure oil-filled cable feeders with NOTE 3A new piece of oil-resistant tubing is to be used every time a
the use of vacuum and either dry carbon dioxide gas or dry sample is taken. Be aware that plastic tubing can retain water that can be
nitrogen gas. Its use is recommended when high relative imparted to the sample during sampling. For this reason, flushing the
tubing along with the sample container is necessary to remove that
humidity conditions exist and it is desired to take the samples moisture.
through a closed system.
7.4 Adequately protect the area from which the sample is
MOST FREQUENTLY USED SAMPLING being drawn from spillage by the use of such countermeasures
TECHNIQUES FOR ELECTRICAL APPARATUS as plastic, oil absorbent pads and catch pans.

7. Collecting Samples from Electrical Apparatus Using 7.5 When collecting the sample in a glass jar, bottle or metal
Bottles and Cans can, hold the sample container so that the liquid will run down
the sides and limit aeration of the liquid. Partially fill the
7.1 Unrepresentative samples are often obtained when sam-
sample container 2 to 3 times and gently swirl the liquid around
pling electrical apparatus using the sampling ports mounted on
drain valves without appropriate preparation. The flow allowed to warm the container in order to prevent condensation.
by these ports is not adequate to properly flush the drain valve Discard the liquid after each rinse. The flow of liquid should be
and drain valve extension of the electrical apparatus. Since the gentle but not interrupted from the start of the flushing of the
fluid in the drain valve and extension remain quite dormant valve and container to the completion of the final filling of the
during the normal operation of the electrical apparatus, con- sample container.
tamination with stem packing and moisture must be thoroughly 7.6 Obtain the sample for evaluation by allowing the liquid
flushed prior to the collection of a sample. to flow down the sides of the container or from the bottom up,
7.2 Check for positive pressure at a sampling outlet by filling the container.
placing a slug of insulating liquid in a piece of clear oil- 7.6.1 If glass sample containers are used, adequate space
resistant plastic tubing and attaching it to the sampling port should remain in the container to allow for expansion of the
(also known as sampling cock) located on the side of the drain liquid. This applies to samples that are collected at tempera-
valve. With the valve closed, remove the drain valve pipe plug, tures below the temperature of the sample storage area. If metal
making sure to catch any waste and debris, and then reinstall
cans, bottles or cylinders are used fill the container to over-
the pipe plug to equalize the pressure. While observing the slug
flowing. Once the container has been filled to the appropriate
of insulating liquid, open the sampling port and then slowly
level install the cap immediately.
open the drain valve. If the slug moves towards the electrical
apparatus, a negative pressure exists, and sampling is to be 7.7 Close the drain valve, remove the sample adapter, if
discontinued. If the slug moves away from the electrical used, and install the drain valve pipe plug with a non-hardening
apparatus, a positive pressure exists, and samples can be thread sealant. Do not reuse the tubing. Clean the sample
obtained safely. Close the drain valve and then close the drain adapter before reusing on other oil-filled compartments or
valve port. Take extreme care in performing this procedure. apparatus. Properly label and identify the sample(s) before
7.3 Place a flush-oil container under the main drain valve leaving the site or going to the next apparatus. Dispose of any
and remove the drain valve pipe plug. Wipe the inside of the waste materials in the proper manner.

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8. Collecting Samples from Electrical Apparatus Using
Glass Syringes
8.1 Perform the same steps as described in 7.1-7.4. Attach
the oil-resistant tubing to the syringe as shown in Fig. 1

FIG. 1 Stopcock with Two Open Ports and Flushing of Stopcock

8.2 Before using a syringe make sure that the stopcock is on ing. Perform this conditioning procedure at least one and
securely and there is no debris or obstruction in the syringe that preferably two more times.
would prevent its proper use. 8.5.1 If conditions warrant, the sample collection tubing
8.3 The handle of the plastic stopcock always points to the may be removed from the syringe during the time the piston is
closed port leaving the other two ports in open communication depressed. In this case the flow of liquid shall continue and
(Fig. 1). should be directed into the flush container. Care shall be taken
not to contaminate the syringe inlet port.
8.4 Adjust the equipment drain valve or the sample port
valve for a gentle flow of liquid through the tubing with the 8.6 Turn the stopcock slowly to open the port to the syringe
syringe stopcock open (Fig. 1) to permit flushing of the (Fig. 2 handle in line with the flushing port). Allow 10 mL of
stopcock. Position the handle toward the syringe (see Note 3). liquid to enter the syringe. Immediately close the port to the
syringe (Fig. 3 handle toward the tubing).
8.5 Turn the stopcock slowly to communicate with the
syringe (Fig. 2, handle in line with the flushing port). Allow the 8.7 With the syringe vertical (Fig. 3), the stopcock handle
up towards the tubing, eject any air bubbles by carefully
depressing the syringe piston far enough to leave 1 to 2 mL of
liquid in the syringe. If all of the liquid is evacuated from the
syringe, there is a greater chance of an air leak. Close the
stopcock by moving the stopcock handle toward the syringe.
8.8 To eliminate any possibility that air may be entrapped in
FIG. 2 Conditioning of Syringe, Stopcock Handle in Line with
the valve, let the liquid flow through the flushing port before
Flushing Port the valve is turned to allow the syringe to be filled.
8.9 Open the stopcock (Fig. 2), with the handle in line with
liquid to fill the syringe to maximum full mark (shown as 40 in flushing port. Allow the liquid pressure to push the piston back
Fig. 2). Immediately close the port to the tubing (Fig. 3 handle until the syringe is filled to approximately 80 % full. Do not
pull the piston manually since this can result in bubble
8.10 Close the stopcock (Fig. 4), with the stopcock handle

FIG. 4 Oil-Filled Syringe with Handle Towards Syringe

FIG. 3 Ejecting Oil from Syringe, Stopcock Handling Towards

Tubing toward syringe. Separate the syringe from the tubing and
inspect for gas bubbles. If gas is present, discharge oil with the
toward tubing). Slowly depress the syringe piston (also known syringe vertical (stopcock up) and obtain another sample.
as plunger) until all the liquid is evacuated from the syringe to 8.11 Protect the syringe from sunlight after the sample is
the flush container or catch pan completing the first condition- taken.

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8.12 If, after a syringe has set for a period of time after the valve; followed by the electrical apparatus drain valve or
sample has been collected, and a gas bubble forms in the sample port valve. Remove the sample adapter if used, and
syringe, do not release this bubble as it contains gases from the reinstall the security plug with a non-hardening thread sealant.
liquid that have come out of solution but are still considered 9.6 As a final check to determine that the cylinder has been
part of the sample. properly filled, shake the cylinder and listen for the motion of
8.13 Close the valve and secure the area as described in 7.7. the bubbles and the splashing of liquid. If any sound is heard,
the cylinder should be drained and the sampling repeated.
9. Collecting Samples from Electrical Apparatus Using
Stainless Steel Cylinder 9.7 Close the valve and secure the area as described in 7.7.
9.1 Perform the same steps as described in 7.1-7.4. SAMPLING OF CANS, DRUMS, TANK CARS, TANK
9.2 Hold the steel cylinder in a vertical position. Connect TRUCKS, AND SMALL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
the oil-resistant tubing to the lower valve port on the stainless
steel cylinder and connect a short piece approximately 60 cm 10. Sampling Using the Dip-Type or Drum Thief Device
(24 in.) of clear oil-resistant tubing to the upper valve on the (Fig. 6)
steel cylinder as shown in Fig. 5 (see Note 3). 10.1 Sampling ProcedureClose the top hole of the device
9.3 While keeping the cylinder in the vertical position, open with the thumb and introduce the lower end into the liquid to
the electrical apparatus sampling drain valve or the sample port be sampled to a depth of approximately 300 mm. Remove the
valve. Open the lower valve on the stainless steel cylinder. thumb, allowing the liquid to flow into the device. Again, close
Direct the short piece of plastic tubing towards the flush oil the upper end with the thumb and withdraw the device, holding
container and open the upper valve on the stainless steel it in a nearly horizontal position. Shift the position of the
cylinder. With all three valves open and the cylinder held in a device so that the liquid will flow back and forth in the tube,
vertical position (see Fig. 5), flush the cylinder. Two (2) litres rinsing the inside surface. During this operation, take care to
of liquid should pass through the cylinder into the flush oil avoid handling any portion of the device that will be immersed
container. in the liquid to be sampled. Discard the liquid used for rinsing.
With the thumb again covering the top hole of the device, insert
9.4 If air bubbles are seen in the plastic tubing, the stainless the lower end into the liquid at an angle so that it will come to
steel cylinder may be tapped lightly or shaken to dislodge any rest on the bottom of the container at the center. Raise the
bubbles inside the cylinder. Flushing with the insulating liquid device approximately 3 mm off the bottom and then release the
should be continued until the flow out of the cylinder is free of thumb (Warning: see end of paragraph). When the device is
any bubbles. filled, replace the thumb quickly, withdraw the device, and,
9.5 Tightly close the three valves in the following sequence: placing the tip inside the neck close to the side of the sample
first close the upper cylinder valve; then the bottom cylinder container, release the thumb and allow the contents to fill the

FIG. 5 Sampling with Stainless Steel Sampling Cylinder

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FIG. 6 Dip-Type Sampling Device

container. The free hand may be placed at a point above the

liquid level to guide the tip of the device to its position on the
sample container. When the container is filled, stop the flow of
liquid by returning the thumb to the top hole. Do not close the
bottom hole with the use of the other hand. Quickly close the
sample container and attach an identifying tag. Where pro-
vided, replace the stopper in the container that was sampled.
WarningThe standard 55 gal (208 L) oil drum is so designed
that when full and standing on end the bottom will bulge,
thereby becoming concave on the inside so that at the center it
is about 10 mm below that portion which is directly below the
bung opening. It is essential when sampling liquid in this type
of container that the dip-type device be inserted at an angle so
that the bottom sample is obtained from that portion of the
liquid in the center.

11. Sampling Using the Pressure-Type Device (Fig. 7 and NOTE 1The offset section of tubing at the bottom of the device shall
be in the same vertical plane as the U-bend. This will permit easy
Fig. 8) alignment for obtaining a bottom sample from the center of the drum.
11.1 ApparatusRefer to the Annex, Section A1.1 for the FIG. 7 Pressure-Type Sampling Device
construction details of this device. The following apparatus is
required for the functioning of the pressure-type device:
11.1.1 Nitrogen Gas CylinderA tank of dry nitrogen gas 11.2 Sampling ProcedureScrew a sample bottle into the
for supplying the necessary nitrogen pressure to the liquid in brass cap and adjust the bung on the tube so that when the bung
the drum to be sampled. The nitrogen gas must meet the is screwed into the drum the sampling tube will extend into the
requirements prescribed in Table 1 of Specification D1933. liquid to a depth of about 300 mm (see Note in Fig. 7). With the
11.1.2 Pressure Regulator, to reduce the gas pressure to the hose from the nitrogen tank clipped on the check valve, set the
desired value. three-way plug cock to permit nitrogen to flow into the drum.
11.1.3 Safety ValveA relief valve set to operate when the Adjust the regulator so that the pressure is gradually increased
nitrogen pressure reaches 69 kPa (10 psi). to 34 kPa (5 psi). This will purge air from sample bottle and

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FIG. 8 Details of Bung and Fittings for Pressure-Type Sampling Devices

subsequently start the liquid to fill the bottle. When the bottle
is approximately 78 full, shut off the nitrogen supply and at the
same time, vent the drum to the atmosphere by means of the
three-way plug cock. Immediately vent the release valve in the
top of the tube by means of the push-button valve. Unscrew the
bottle and collect the drainage liquid from the tube. Discard
this sample. Screw a clean sample bottle into the brass cap,
push the tubing to the bottom of the drum, and set the
three-way plug cock to permit nitrogen to flow into the drum.
Restore 34 kPa (5 psi) pressure to the drum by means of the
pressure regulator. This will purge the air from the sample
bottle and subsequently start the liquid to fill the bottle. When
the bottle is full, shut off the nitrogen supply and vent the drum
to the atmosphere. Vent the release valve by means of the
push-button valve, remove the sample bottle, and immediately
screw the cover on tightly. Attach an identifying tag to the
bottle. Withdraw the tube from the liquid and allow to drain. In
sampling a shipment of new liquid in drums, the device may be
inserted into the next drum and the sample taken without
further cleaning or rinsing of the device, provided the previous FIG. 9 Tank Car-Type Sampling Device
sample showed no evidence of moisture or foreign particles.
12.2 Procedure for Sampling OilWhen sampling a tank
12. Sampling Using the Tank Car-Type Device (Fig. 9) car, tank truck, or a large storage tank of oil not provided with
12.1 ApparatusRefer to the Annex, Section A1.2 for the a sampling-test nipple, it is desirable that bottom samples as
construction details of this device. defined in Practice D4057, be taken in the area around the drain

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pipe. Prior to obtaining any sample, rinse the device by the valve. First connect the sampling device with the bottle in
lowering it into the tank of oil approximately 300 mm beneath place to the sampling outlet and gradually open the valve to
the surface, and with a cord attached to the plunger raise it so permit a flow of oil into the sample bottle without undue force.
that liquid will fill the reservoir. When filled, release the
plunger, withdraw the device, and discard the contents; then 14. General Considerations
lower the device gently until it rests on the bottom of the tank, 14.1 Specify the location at which sampling outlets are to be
taking care that it is held in an upright position. The plunger installed on liquid-filled cable feeders and joints whenever
will have recessed, and filling of the device will be evidenced sampling is contemplated and indicate on the design drawings
by bubbles of air rising to the surface of the oil. When the so that samples will always be obtained at the same locations
bubbles cease to rise, the device is filled. Withdraw the device. whenever sampling is repeated. In this way the history of the
In emptying the device into the sample container, allow the oil insulating liquid as a function of time will be comparable, since
to flow against the side of the container. Repeat the operation samples will always be obtained at specific locations.
at points on an imaginary circle around the drain pipe until the
desired number of samples have been obtained. When it is
15. Sampling Using the Manifold-Type Device (Fig. 10)
desired to obtain samples at some specified depth, raise the
plunger by means of the attached cord and when filled, as 15.1 ApparatusRefer to the Annex, Section A1.3 for the
indicated by the cessation of air bubbles rising to the surface, construction details of this device.
withdraw the device. Empty the device into the sample 15.2 Sampling Procedure:
container, observing the precautions previously mentioned. It 15.2.1 If there is no reservoir at the cable end remote from
is suggested that twice the number of samples or test specimens the sampling location, connect a reservoir of adequate liquid
to be subjected to the desired tests be taken and half the number and pressure capacity at the remote end. Close the valve on the
held in abeyance pending the possibility of additional tests reservoir at the sampling end to ensure minimum dilution of
being necessary, in which case a revisit to the location to the sample with reservoir liquid.
sample again would be avoided. Attach an identifying tag to 15.2.2 Connect the manifold with the flexible metal hose to
each sample bottle as soon as it has been filled. the sampling outlet and connect the vacuum and gas lines.
15.2.3 Open the sampling outlet valve and flush the mani-
fold by opening valves 1, 2, and 7. After flushing the manifold,
13. Mandatory Conditions close valves 2 and 7 and continue draining liquid through valve
1 until a quantity corresponding to the volume of the tubing
13.1 Contaminated liquid may be present in any piece of between valve 1 and the location of the liquid to be sampled in
sealed equipment, cable feeder, or cable joint. In order that the joint or termination, has been drawn off. Close valve 1.
contaminated liquid is not discarded, do not draw off any liquid WarningRegulate the flow of liquid so that a positive
prior to taking a sample nor rinse the sampling device with pressure will be maintained in the oil system. For this purpose
liquid drawn from the sample source. Exception to the condi- install a gauge between valve 1 and the sampling outlet valve
tions will apply where a connecting line exists between the (see Fig. 5). The pressure as indicated on the gauge, with valve
sampling point and the liquid source to be sampled. In this 3 open, shall be not less than 14 kPa (2 psi) if the gauge is
case, withdraw and discard a quantity of liquid approximately installed at the same elevation as the sampling outlet valve. If
equal to the volume in the connecting line. the gauge is installed at a lower elevation than the valve, the
13.2 WarningIn the sampling of oil from a high-pressure minimum allowable pressure shall be increased by 2.8 kPa (0.4
pipe-type cable feeder, exercise extreme caution when opening psi) per foot of difference in elevation.

FIG. 10 Apparatus for Sampling Oil from Low-Pressure Filled Cable with Use of Vacuum and Dry Gas

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15.2.4 Screw clean sample containers into the metal caps. there are no established guidelines as to how to adequately
Open valves 4 and 5 and apply to the sample containers a prepare a particle free bottle, most bottle manufactures use an
vacuum of not less than 133 Pa (1 mm Hg) for 10 min. Close ionization and vacuum process to remove the particles and then
valves 4 and 5. they are fitted with a suitable non-shedding threaded capped.
15.2.5 Open valve 1 and fill container No. 1 to 13 mm from Other particle removing processes can also be used. The bottles
the top. Close valve 1. Open valve 2 and repeat the same shall meet the cleanliness criteria of contributing less than 1 %
procedure for container No. 2. Close valve 2. of the total particles expected in the cleanest sample. If
15.2.6 Break the vacuum with gas by opening valves 4 and purchased from a manufacturer or supplier, and the bottle
6. Remove the containers from the manifold, close valves 4 and arrives uncapped, or if the cap falls off, then the bottle can no
6, and seal and identify the sample containers. longer be considered particle free.
15.2.7 Disconnect the manifold from the sampling outlet
16.3 Cleaning and Preparation of Syringes and Stainless
and restore the cable liquid system to normal.
Steel Cylinders:
16. Cleaning, Preparation, Storage and Handling of 16.3.1 Various methods can be used to clean these types of
Sampling Containers devices. The most common are to rinse in a series of suitable
solvents or by using a degreasing apparatus. Whatever method
16.1 Because of the inherent susceptibility of most insulat- is used, the liquid insulating residue must be removed from the
ing liquids to contaminating influences of the most minute syringe, stopcock and cylinders and dried in a manner so that
nature, the cleanliness of the sample container is of paramount no residue from the cleaning process is left behind. These
importance for ensuring that the sample obtained is represen- devices can be stored either horizontally or vertically after
tative of the bulk from which it was taken. For these reasons, being cleaned and dried. The stopcock valve on the glass
it is essential that the procedures outlined in the following syringe is be to closed with a slight gas space in the syringe to
paragraphs are strictly observed. allow for expansion and contraction of the syringe barrel and
16.2 Cleaning and Preparation of Bottles and Cans: plunger.
16.2.1 If containers have been previously used for sampling 16.3.2 Close both valves on the stainless steel sampling
liquids and are to be cleaned for reuse, thoroughly rinse the cylinder after it is cleaned and dried. It is advisable to maintain
container with Stoddard solvent, precipitation naphtha, or other a slight positive pressure inside the cylinder with a dry inert gas
suitable cleaning agent that completely dissolves the liquid such as nitrogen or argon. When this is done make sure the
residue, and then subject to a soap and water cleaning and cylinder is appropriately labeled with this information.
water rinse. If a water-soluble cleaning agent such as trisodium
16.4 Storage and Handling of Empty Containers:
phosphate is used, rinse thoroughly with tap water. Invert the
containers and drain for 10 min; then immerse in a 10 % 16.4.1 Keep containers that are to be stored for future use in
solution of non-chromate acid-based cleaner for not less than 1 a warm, dry storage cabinet. Store all empty sample containers
h. At the end of this period rinse with tap water, then with in such manner that the possibility of their being contaminated
distilled water, and dry in an upright position in a forced-draft is eliminated. Keep containers sealed until immediately before
oven at 110C for not less than 1 h. In the case of containers sampling to prevent contamination by dirt or moisture.
that have not been previously used, the initial cleaning may be
omitted and the containers placed immediately in the non- 17. Storage, Packaging and Shipping of Samples
chromate solution followed by the rinsing and drying outlined 17.1 Storage of Samples:
above. 17.1.1 Store all sample containers with samples or test
16.2.2 Clean and dry glass stoppers in a manner similar to specimens in them in such manner that the possibility of their
that of the container in which they are to be used. Do not reuse being contaminated is eliminated. Seal containers as soon as
covers having vinyl liners. Dry new covers with vinyl liners in the sample or test specimen is taken to prevent contamination
an oven at 110C for not less than 30 min immediately prior to by dirt or moisture. As soon as samples are taken, properly
being placed on the bottles. identify them. To prevent breakage, handle the sample con-
16.2.3 When the drying periods for the bottles and covers or tainer after filling with care during transportation and storage.
stoppers is complete, lightly stopper each bottle immediately as Store samples in the dark when clear bottles are used. Amber-
it is removed from the oven, taking care not to touch the lip of colored bottles and metal cylinders, cans or bottles provide
the container or that portion of the stopper or cover likely to good protection against degradation of the sample by sunlight.
come in contact with the sample.
16.2.4 In most cases, these cleaning procedures are time 17.2 Packaging and Shipping of Samples :
consuming and no longer economical and thus rarely used. The 17.2.1 Carefully package each container to avoid spillage
majority of sample containers are now purchased directly from and then forward to the laboratory for analysis. Do not allow
the manufacturer or supplier for their intended purpose. The the oil to be exposed to sunlight as this promotes photodegra-
user must make sure that these sample containers have been dation. Convenient cardboard and foam cartons for storing and
cleaned or processed in a manner which meets or exceeds the transporting syringes can be obtained. Samples should be
requirements in 16.2.1-16.2.3. forwarded to the laboratory as quickly as possible as prolonged
16.2.5 Particle-free bottles must be prepared in such a storage can result in changes in the properties of the insulating
manner as to remove as many particles as possible. Although liquid sample.

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18. Cleaning and Storage of Sampling Devices 18.4 Cleaning the Manifold-Type Device Refer to Fig. 10.
18.1 Cleaning the Dip-Type (Drum Thief) DeviceRefer to With valve 3 closed and all other valves open, rinse the inside
Fig. 6. Clean the device by rinsing the inside and outside surface of the manifold thoroughly with Stoddard solvent or
surfaces with Stoddard solvent, or other suitable solvent. Place other suitable solvent and also the outside surfaces of the
a small funnel in one end of the tube, place the forefinger of tubing that extends into the sample bottles. Screw two sample
one hand over the other opening, and partially fill the device bottles into the caps, close valves 5 and 7, and purge the
with solvent. Remove the funnel, cover the opening with the manifold with dry gas for approximately 15 s. Remove the
forefinger of the other hand and flush the tube by agitating the sample bottles and do not use them for obtaining samples.
solvent back and forth. Empty the tube, flush the outside 18.5 Storage of Sampling Devices :
surface with solvent, and take care after rinsing not to touch 18.5.1 When not in use, clean sampling devices as indicated
any portion of the tube that will be immersed in the liquid when in 18.1-18.4, and keep at all times in a vertical position in a dry,
the sample is being taken. It is advisable to use nitrile or dust-free cabinet or a clean sealed plastic bag. Provide the
polyethylene gloves when performing this procedure. cabinet with a rack having a suitable drainage receptacle at the
18.2 Cleaning the Pressure-Type Device Refer to Fig. 7. base.
Invert the device, hold it in a perpendicular position, and place 18.5.2 Attempt to store all sampling devices in a room
the U-bend in a pail or similar container. Insert a small funnel having low humidity.
into the top end of the tubing, and thoroughly rinse the inside
surface of the tubing by flushing it several times with Stoddard 19. Sample Information
solvent or other suitable solvent. Drain the solvent from the 19.1 Attach a tag, label or otherwise mark each sample
tubing and pour more solvent over the outside surface of those container so that it can be properly identified.
parts of the tubing that will be immersed in the liquid while the
sample is being taken. When this operation is completed, 19.2 At a minimum, include the following information:
exercise care not to touch any part of the sampling tube that 19.2.1 Serial or identification number,
will be immersed in the liquid when obtaining a sample. 19.2.2 Date of sampling, and
WarningBefore proceeding to use this method, inspect the 19.2.3 Temperature of oil reading and location where it was
area in which the drums to be sampled are located to be retrieved (Note 4).
positive there is adequate ventilation, preventing a concentra-
NOTE 4There is debate as to the best place from which to retrieve the
tion of the nitrogen gas which is dissipated during the sampling temperature of the apparatus. The table in Appendix X1 provides a brief
operation. Comply with OSHA regulations concerning con- description of advantages and disadvantages of each measuring technique
fined space. but is by no means meant to be exhaustive.
18.3 Cleaning the Tank Car-Type Device Refer to Fig. 9.
Holding the device suspended by its handle, thoroughly rinse 20. Keywords
the inside surface and then the outside surface with Stoddard 20.1 bottles; cans; dissolved-gas-in oil; dissolved gases-in-
solvent or other suitable solvent. When the liquid to be oil; electrical insulating liquid; particle; sampling; sampling
sampled is askarel, the solvent used for rinsing the device must electrical apparatus; sampling procedures; syringes; water
not be from a petroleum base. content


(Mandatory Information)


A1.1 Pressure-Type A1.1.1.4 Release Valve,3normally closed, pushbutton,

A1.1.1 Construct the device as shown in Figs. 7 and 8 of the mounted at the apex of the inverted U-bend in the stainless
following components: steel tubing for venting the oil line and thereby preventing the
A1.1.1.1 Stainless Steel Tubing, 12 in. in outside diameter oil from siphoning back into the drum when the nitrogen
with 116 in. wall thickness. pressure is released. (The nozzle on the outlet end of valve has
been shortened.)
A1.1.1.2 Brass Cap, having threads machined to receive a
A1.1.1.5 Brass Bung, machined to the dimensions and with
standard 70/400 wide mouth bottle 2 38 in. in inside diameter
threads to fit a 55 gal (208 L) drum used for packaging oil.
of about 475 cc (16 oz) or about 950 cc (32 oz) capacity.
Details of the construction of this bung as well as the fittings
A1.1.1.3 BUNA-N Ring Gasket, 18 in. thick and 38 in. wide,
cut to fit snugly around the inside of the brass cap to provide
a seal between the rim of the sample bottle and the inside 3
A Schrader Valve, Catalog No. 7184C, has been found satisfactory for this
surface of the cap. Viton may also be used. purpose.

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assembled on it to admit nitrogen gas into the drum and sample A1.2.1.4 Sufficiently weight the device so that it will sink
bottle are shown in Fig. 8. readily when lowered into liquid having a specific gravity of
A1.1.1.6 All Metal Flexible Hose, 1.5 m (5 ft) length, 316 in. 1.6.
size, equipped on both ends with a compression male union. A1.2.1.5 The surfaces of the device must be smooth and
Connect one end of this hose over a 18 in. diameter hole in the properly machined to facilitate easy cleaning.
brass bottle cap and the other end into the bushing in the elbow
connected in the nitrogen supply line. Insert an orifice 0.045 in. A1.3 Manifold
in diameter (No. 56 drill) into the bushing to reduce the flow of
gas into the bottle. A1.3.1 Construct the device as shown in Fig. 10 of the
A1.1.1.7 Bronze Plug Cock, three-way for threaded 14 in. following components:
pipe, with cock levers. A1.3.1.1 Brass Piping, NPS 1/4.
A1.1.1.8 Provide the end of the stainless steel tubing that is
A1.3.1.2 Brass Caps, two, having threads machined to
to be inserted into the drum with three notches 120 apart and
receive standard 70/4000 wide mouth bottles 2 38 in. in inside
each not less than 3 mm deep.
diameter, of about 475 cc (16 oz) or 950 cc (32 oz) capacity.
A1.2 Tank Car-Type A1.3.1.3 BUNA-N Ring Gaskets, two, 18 in. thick, 38 in.
A1.2.1 Construct the device (also known as a Bacon Bomb) wide, cut to fit snugly around the inside of the brass cap to
as shown in Fig. 9, in both about 475 cc (1 pt) and about 950 provide a seal between the rim of the sample bottle and the
cc (1 qt) capacities with the following features: inside surface of the cap.
A1.2.1.1 Design the plunger so that, when recessed, the A1.3.1.4 Diaphragm Valve, eight, 14 in. having oil compat-
distance it extends through the bottom of the reservoir is within ible wetted parts.
13 mm. A1.3.1.5 All Metal Flexible Hose, 38 in. provided with
A1.2.1.2 Provide an eccentric cam for locking the plunger suitable fittings at each end for connection to the manifold and
when desired. sampling outlet on the cable accessory respectively.
A1.2.1.3 Provide a 38 in. threaded hole in the flat top of the
device with a threaded plug which can be removed when top A1.3.1.6 Compound Gauge, capable of measuring pressures
samples are taken. between 7 and 21 kPa (1 and 3 psi).


(Nonmandatory Information)


X1.1 There is debate as to the bet place from which to

retrieve the temperature of the electrical apparatus. The table
below provides some general guidelines with advantages and
disadvantages list but the list is by no means meant to be

Location of Measurement
Advantages and Disadvantages
Temperature Retrieval Type
Apparatus Top Oil Temperature Gauge Direct Advantages
The thermowell of the gauge is installed directly into the oil of the apparatus thus eliminating external
Gauges need to be kept in calibration. Very small transformers and OCBs usually do not have
temperature gauges. Convection cooled transformers can have a large temperature differential
between the top and bottom of the apparatus.

Temperature of sample as it exits the Indirect Advantages

sampling valve (thermometers) Have the ability to always retrieve a temperature no matter what apparatus is being sampled.
The thermometer used may be out of calibration. The drain valve is a large thermal sink and most
often will cool the exiting oil from 2 to 25C thus not representing the bulk oil temperature. There can
be a response time issue with the use of a thermometer and the oil may even cool down more before
the reading stabilizes.

Infrared point and shoot thermometer Indirect Advantages

(small handheld units) Have the ability to always retrieve a temperature no matter what apparatus being sampled. Depending
on the model, various features are available including a scanning type that can record the temperature
from the top of the tank to the bottom.

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Location of Measurement
Advantages and Disadvantages
Temperature Retrieval Type
Accuracy of the measurement is based on how close the user is to the apparatus being surveyed. The
emissivity of the apparatus material of construction and color add additional error to the measurement.


X2.1 The table below provides information on the appro- volume of liquid for the tests to be conducted, does not impart
priate sample containers that can be used for storing insulating any contamination to the sample and prevents property changes
liquids. The table also provides some common advantages and in the insulating liquid.
disadvantages but is by no means meant to be exhaustive. A
sample container must be large enough to hold the required

Container Type Advantages Disadvantages

Glass Syringe Best container for DGA and water measurements, affords Limited volume, breakage, sample can be susceptible to
visual inspection of sample, effectively keeps out photodegradation if not protected from the light.
environmental contaminants.

Stainless Steel Sampling Cylinder Extremely durable container, effectively keeps out Cannot view contents and thus gas bubbles are sometimes
environmental contaminants, also a good container for lost during DGA analysis, heavy, valves can leak without
DGA and water measurements. the user knowing. Heavy container to ship.

Dark High Density Polyethylene Very durable and lightweight container, sample protected Cannot view contents, not good for water content
(HDPE) Bottle from photodegradation, good container for regular oil measurements as the plastic walls are permeable. Ingress
quality tests and furanic compounds. of water may impact other tests as well such as dielectric

Opaque High Density Polyethylene Very durable and lightweight container, good container for Can somewhat view contents, not good for water content
(HDPE) Bottle regular oil quality tests and furanic compounds. measurements as the plastic walls are permeable, sample
can be susceptible to photodegradation if not protected
from the light. Ingress of water may impact other tests as
well such as dielectric strength.

Amber Glass Bottle Excellent bottle for regular oil quality tests, sample Breakage, limited viewing of contents.
protected from photodegradation, the water content of the
samples is usually not impacted.

Clear Glass Bottle Excellent bottle for regular oil quality tests, affords visual Breakage, sample can be susceptible to photo-degradation
inspection of sample, the water content of the samples is if not protected from the light.
usually not impacted.

Welded Seam Metal Can Very durable and lightweight container, can be used for Cannot view contents, must open cap to retrieve contents
(Flexible-Sided) DGA and water content if filled to overflowing and the for DGA and some gas concentrations may be reduced as
capped, sample protected from photodegradation. a result. Soldered seam metal cans have often been
confused with welded seam cans. The flux used in
soldered seam cans can severely impact the properties of
the sample.

Seamless Aluminum Can Very durable and lightweight container, excellent container Cannot view contents, must open cap to retrieve contents
for regular oil quality tests, can be used for DGA and water for DGA and some gas concentrations may be reduced as
content if filled to overflowing and the capped, sample a result.
protected from photodegradation, bottles are usually
equipped with active cap locking system.

Particle-free Glass Bottle This is the only type of container that should be used for Breakage, if amber then limited viewing of contents; if clear
(amber or clear) particle count testing as the bottle is specifically prepared then sample can be susceptible to photodegradation if not
Particle-free HDPE Bottle to have a low background of particles. If amber then the protected from the light.
(amber or clear) contents are protected from photodegradation. If clear, then
this affords visual inspection of sample.

Glass Stoppered Bottle Good bottle for regular oil quality tests, affords visual Breakage, sample can be susceptible to photodegradation
inspection of sample, the water content of the samples is if not protected from the light, stoppers do not always
usually not impacted. provide an adequate fit. These bottles are no longer
commonly used.

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